Common Health Concerns

Child with mother and nurse

This page includes information on a range of common concerns that you may have about your child or young person.

Eating problems

Some children may have difficulties with feeding from birth. It is common for children to present with a ranging feeding, eating, and drinking activities and Health Visitors can support you with infant feeding and weaning.

You can also find lots of useful advice on the Infant Feeding page of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Child Programme website.

If you have concerns then talk with your child’s GP, health visitor or paediatrician. Young people can seek their own referrals over the age of 17 or 18 through their GP. Those who need specialist services may be referred to Dietetics, Nutrition, and to services for specialist equipment and other related support.

If your child's eating and drinking suddenly stops or becomes very restricted, please seek medical advice from NHS 111 or your GP to ensure they are safe and well.

Eating disorders

Eating disorders are mental health conditions where food is often used to cope with feelings and situations. Eating behaviours can be unhealthy and may include eating too much or not enough and being overly concerned about weight and body image.

Eating disorders can affect anyone at any age but are most common in teenagers between 13 and 17.

The most common types of eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

Other eating disorders are other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) which can be experienced by some children/young people with Autism. Below are links to some useful websites.

Sensory Impairment

Sensory impairment is when one of the senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, or spatial awareness (knowing where your body is in space in relation to objects or other people) is not working as it should.

Examples - if you wear glasses you have a sight impairment, if you find it hard to hear or have a hearing aid then you have a hearing impairment.

A person does not have to have a full loss of a sense to be sensory impaired. Some children and young people have a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) (also called dual sensory impairment).

Seeability runs countrywide public health programs helping adults and children with learning disabilities look after their sight as their risks of sight problems are much higher.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) provides support to parents, carers, and deaf children through their freephone helpline, support workers, and a wide range of support services. Sense provides expert advice and information as well as specialist services to deafblind people, their families, carers, and the professionals who work with them. They also support people who have sensory impairments with additional disabilities.

Neurodevelopmental disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders are disabilities in the working of the brain that affect a child's behaviour, memory, or ability to learn. They range from mild impairments, allowing those affected to live fairly normal lives, to severe disorders that require lifelong care.

Examples include:

  • Dyslexia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
Mental Health and Wellbeing

CAMHS stands for child and adolescent mental health services. CAMHS works with children and young people with a range of moderate to severe mental health needs.

Referrals can come from the school or the GP.


There is no set age for when to stop using nappies, but children usually show signs they are ready to use a toilet or a potty between 18 months and 3 years.

Talk to your child. Communicate and educate, notice the signs of needing the toilet, keeping dry day and night.

Some children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, however, may have continued difficulties with continence issues such as, but not limited to, constipation, daytime wetting, and night-time wetting.

You can find more details on these subjects on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Child programme website.

If your child is over 4 years old and has additional needs that means it is taking more time for them to achieve continence, your health visitor or school nurse can request continence products (pads/nappies) from the service which is provided by CPFT and Essity.

You can telephone 0300 029 50 50 or text 07520 649887 to start a conversation with a professional in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Visiting and School Nursing Services team who will be able to offer further advice and support.

Puberty and children with a disability

Although many young people with special needs experience delays in achieving developmental milestones, puberty usually occurs at the same age and involves the same changes as typically developing children.

Common concerns of parents and carers of children with special needs.  It is normal for all parents to feel anxious about this stage of their child’s development.

Parents may worry about hygiene, period management, emotional meltdowns, emerging sexuality, masturbation, and inappropriate touching of others. They may also have fears about the increased risk of sexual abuse and the possibility of casual sexual relationships, pregnancy, and STIs.

Parents may also be concerned about how their child will cope emotionally with puberty changes and their emerging sexuality, now and in the future.

Parents and young people can request support from their local GP or the local NHS iCash service.

Wheelchair service

The wheelchair service is for residents currently registered with a GP in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS CCG areas, and who meet the NHS Eligibility criteria for the provision of wheelchairs.

AJM Healthcare is the appointed NHS Wheelchair Service Provider. The service will provide you with all NHS wheelchair services, including:

  • clinical assessments
  • specialist seating
  • delivery.
  • repairs and maintenance
  • collection when the wheelchair is no longer required
Support for drink and drug problems

Support is available for anyone with a drink or drug problem

If you need help your GP is a good place to start. They can discuss your problems with you and get you into treatment. You can call your GP practice as usual for an appointment.

Telephone helplines

Help is available through telephone helplines from the organizations below.

  • Drinkline provides free advice and support, on  0300 123 1110
  • FRANK provides free information and advice on drugs, and information on where to get help, on  0300 123 6600
  • the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) helpline, if there are worries about a child or young person, on  0808 800 5000
  • Childline provides advice for anyone under 19, on  0800 1111

Useful websites

Websites that have useful information are listed below:

Related Pages

  1. Health
  2. Universal Health Services
  3. Specialist Health Services


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